How to Use the Motion Eye on Sony Viao

by Jeff Grundy

Like many other modern notebooks, Sony VAIO laptops include an integrated webcam on the top edge of the LCD screen. You can use this camera to record videos of yourself, take still snapshots and engage in video-chat conversations on instant messaging services such as GTalk, Skype, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. The Motion Eye webcam is ready to use for recording videos and taking pictures right out of the box using the included WebCam Companion application. However, using the Motion Eye with chat programs does require some relatively simple configuration.

Taking Still Pictures

1

Click the Start button, "All Programs," "ArcSoft WebCam Companion" and then "WebCam Companion." Wait a few seconds for the WebCam Companion program to open and initialize the Motion Eye webcam in the Sony VAIO laptop. After a few seconds, the video stream from the camera appears in the WebCam Companion preview window.

2

Click the "Capture" button beneath the preview window, then click the "Camera" icon. Click the "Camera" icon again. After you click the Camera icon the second time, the Motion Eye camera takes a snapshot of the area facing the camera on the top of the LCD. If you are sitting directly in from the LCD screen, the webcam captures an image of your face. Otherwise, it just snaps a photo of whatever is the area.

3

Click the "Camera" icon again to take another photo. Continue clicking the "Camera" icon to take additional photos. As you take photos with the Motion Eye webcam, thumbnail images of the photos appear in the browser pane of the WebCam companion application. The WebCam Companion application saves photos automatically in the "Pictures" library of Windows Explorer.

4

Double-click one of the thumbnails to view an image full size.

Recording a Video

1

Open the ArcSoft WebCam Companion program on your Sony VAIO laptop.

2

Click the "Capture" button beneath the preview window, then click the "Video Camera" icon on the drop-down list. Click the "Video Camera" icon again to begin recording the video stream from the Motion Eye webcam. To record yourself speaking in the video, speak directly at the Motion Eye camera at the top of the LCD screen.

3

Click the "Stop" button beneath the preview window when you want to stop recording video. A thumbnail image of the video appears in the browser pane of the WebCam Companion window.

4

Double-click the thumbnail image of the video in the browser pane to play back the clip in the preview window. WebCam Companion saves the video in the Windows Explorer Videos library.

Using the Motion Eye Webcam for Chat

1

Open your Web browser and download a chat application that supports video calls. Programs such as AIM, Skype and Yahoo Messenger are free and you can use them with the Motion Eye camera to place live voice calls to friends that also use the chat service and have webcams.

2

Install the chat application on your Sony VAIO laptop after downloading it.

3

Launch the chat messenger program on the VAIO laptop. Click the "Register" or "Sign Up" link in the application if you don’t already have a username and password, then follow the prompts to register a new account. Log in to the chat application after you register for an account.

4

Click the "Options," "Preferences," "Tools," or other similar link on the chat program menu bar, then click "Settings" or "Setup" on the drop-down menu.

5

Click "Camera Settings" or "Webcam Settings," then verify the "Sony Motion Eye Webcam" appears as the default video device for the chat program. If the Motion Eye is not the default camera, highlight it in the list of detected devices and click "OK" or "Save."

6

Follow the prompts to test the webcam in the chat program. The chat application walks you through the steps needed to ensure you can see yourself in the chat preview screen and that the microphone for the webcam is working properly.

7

Click the name of a friend in your contact list, then click the "Video" or "Video Call" link to initialize a new video-chat session. After the other person accepts the call, you can see your friend on the VAIO screen, and your friend can see you on his computer monitor.

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About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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